Sudan: Seeking Sanctions

Conflict in Darfur, a region of western Sudan about the size of France, has dominated the international agenda in recent months. The crisis is not new, it began in February last year, when the government backed Arab militias known as the Janjaweed began to suppress rebel groups. The government is using the Janjaweed to drive villagers off their land and hand it over to tribes loyal to Khartoum.

The World Today
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Some fifty thousand people have died and 1.2 million more have been displaced, many of them across the border to squalid camps in Chad, following a campaign described by the United Nations as ethnic cleansing and categorised as genocide by the US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The threat of un sanctions has hung over Sudan since July. The Security Council adopted a resolution on July 30 – although expressed in rather foggy language – that gave Sudan 30 days to disarm and arrest leaders of the Janjaweed or possibly face UN sanctions.

China and Pakistan abstained from an otherwise unanimous vote for the measures; Algeria and Russia also lobbied for more time.

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